As I am such a calm, relaxed person, taking a six month old to Iceland for a few days for a family wedding was a breeze. I wasn't constantly on nap patrol. Or shouting at every member of my family to HURRY THE....UP or DO NOT WAKE THE BABY OR I WILL END YOU. I didn't stress once about routine - or naps. Like, not at all. Or getting my boobs out in public (for feeding - not because I was drunk). Or whether Rafe's ears would pop on the plane or if he'd have explosive poo's on the beautiful bride's dress. I didn't want to jump over the airport check-in desk when they said Rafe wasn't booked on to the flight. My husband didn't think about divorce once. Was a breeze...
Honestly though - had an amazing time and Rafe was a legend. Basically - anyone who is about to travel with a baby, best advice I was given. Expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised! (And have a divorce lawyer on speed dial - JOKES....)
So after all the initial worries we had an amazing time. And Rafe really was as good as gold. There was a lot of travelling, plane and car - staying in four different places throughout the trip. Late nights. Disruptive routine (queue panic stations), being passed around different people - and he took it all in his tiny stride. We obviously had mishaps and he was quite unsettled during the evenings (exhaustion and where the fuck am I moments?) some nights but I think I was more rabbit in a headlights than he was. I did have to have a word with myself when we got there. We had landed in Iceland and were on our way to our first destination and it had been a long day and still had a three hour drive. Rafe was knackered and it was way passed his bedtime and I was having a slight nervous breakdown in the car while he had a bit of a cry. Then I looked out the window at the mountains covered in snow and realised where I was. And how beautiful it was. And how I was on our first family holiday. And all I was doing was stressing the fuck out about sleep, naps and routine. Rafe was okay. A few late nights aren't the end of the world. And I was missing out on enjoying the holiday. And was close to sending my whole family over the edge. And we'd just arrived! So anyone who is going away soon, all I would say is CALM THE FUCK DOWN! Routine, naps, sleep is all going to go out the window. So just accept it. And don't let it ruin the holiday. I mean do you think your husband is running around frantically panicking about when his child is going to have a nap? Pretty sure he's probably just thinking, I wish my wife would chill the fuck out and when can I have my first beer.
Someone asked me to give some tips on travelling with a baby and I feel like all of you gave me the best bits of advice (thank you!) but here's a few that worked for me. (Just incase you haven't reliased, I was most worried about the flight - and his routine going tits up.)
My husband was great - I joke about the divorce lawyer but I didn't get that much rage. He put up with my mini-meltdowns and I only wanted to scream WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK ARE YOU DOING? a couple of times. Like when he came in the room at midnight from the wedding mortal, and instead of using the keys quietly, he knocked on the door and 'whispered' IT'S ME. And woke up Rafe. So that was a fucking laugh a minute. But we survived!
While we were away, Rafe turned six months old. Seriously, where has the time gone? I swear I just held my baby boy for the first time yesterday. He's just growing up so fast and it's just incredible watching him change and see his little personality. He can sit up on his own - but not for long and still has plenty of wobbly moments but it's just crazy seeing him sat on the floor like a proper big boy. He still flat out refuses to roll over (even though he can do front to back) and hates tummy time - but I was told babies can only master one skill at a time. He's also so chatty and although he's been giggling for a couple of months, he's doing proper laughs now. Which literally makes my day. I've never met anyone who finds me as funny as Rafe does. Though I do look pretty hilarious most days. One of the milestones babies are supposed to reach at six months - according to some baby books - is sleeping through the night. Fuck if that is ever going to happen. Although Rafe some nights has just been waking up once for a feed anytime between 12-3. But it's so hit and miss. The other night he went from 7-3 before waking for a feed. WHAT?!! So the next night I thought I'd go to bed really early to try and capitalise on sleep - imagine sleeping for eight hours? I think I would cry. I also thought if I get a good nights sleep, I'll be super refreshed. I'll get up. Wash my hair, try and look presentable/less tramp like and do some exercise in the evening. So I went to bed at 8. And did Rafe wake up at 3? What do you think? Stirred at 10, woke up at 11, tired to settle him but no joy, fed him at 12, then woke again at 4.30, then 6.30. So I got up, dry shampoo on hair and that evening ate a 'more to share' bag of maltesers all to myself. The intention was there.
Rafe has also decided he can't self-settle at bedtime anymore. He can through the night but before bed, he's not having any of it. He might be still unsettled from the holiday - or he has been quite windy - or he just wants to keep me on my toes. I'm hoping he will settle again because doing the whole teaching to self-settle is as fun as sticking pins in my eyes. (Why is it that babies can scream the house down and as soon as you pick them up - they are knocking out z'ds?) I'm hoping that this isn't...I dare write it down. The six month sleep regression someone mentioned when we were deep in the shit of the four month sleep regression. I've only just recovered from that one. Send help if it is. And tequila. Oh, talking of help. Naps. Well we are still on 30 minutes - in the pram. The odd few times he has done longer but trying to get him to nap in the cot is still pretty impossible. But not giving up! Just feel like I need to have vodka on standby when I attempt napping in the cot. Although another mum contacted me and said her son was the same as Rafe and loved a catnap - but he is one now and has amazing naps. So there is hope.
I have a million questions about weaning and routine but feel like I have blabbed on far too much so will keep them for next week!! But what I will say - the first solid poo. OH MY GOD HOW CAN IT SMELL THAT BAD?
Rafe was weighed the other day and he is 17Ib. So doubled his birth weight - and more so feeling proud. He's a proper chunky monster now!
And finally, thank you to everyone for their comments and for sharing my last post. Just as you say my blog helps you - knowing other people are going through what I'm going through keeps me almost sane! So thank you.
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.